Told You So – Sincerely, Your Intuition

Written by Martina Popadakova


Trust your intuition instead.

That “feeling” in your gut knows everything.

Here’s a story of how intuition took over the mastered plan for life and messed up everything.

Having plans for life? Good luck.

It feels just like yesterday when I turned twenty and began my first semester of law school. It was the first box to be checked off from my perfect, time-orientated and structured plan for the next decade of my life.

It went like this: graduate from law school, whilst getting into a serious relationship, get a job, get engaged, get married and have a baby before thirty. For so many others, such a timeline worked out quite well, on time and on point. Alas, not for me.

I was only 23, half way through studies and started to question being one of the most secure career paths one can get on. Back then, it was terrifying to admit this to myself, equally so was the announcement of my decision to drop out of university to my parents.

. . .

It was simply so sad to give up right in the middle. It looked like failure to others, but not to me. In that very moment,  I learnt how to trust my gut feeling, or intuition, whichever it was.

I had no idea what my new plan was, but I knew only one certain thing: “a career in law is not what I want, I need a change”. This changed everything, but mostly it took me away from my perfectly thought-out plan, into the ‘unknown’. 

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin

The Unknown.

Nothing on that list I have achieved so far, instead, I have been on a on a journey full of surprises, disappointments, achievements and experiences that I would never experience if I stayed. At that junction in my life, it felt like a disaster and the end of my life, but looking back at it, I understand now, that this is what your twenties are about.

The unknown side of “what could I become if I was not going be a lawyer” was occupying my head and heart more than the desire to study law. At first, it was hard to accept that I am not a natural-born lawyer. Sadly, I was not that person, even though I thought I was.

That new feeling and desire to make a change was much stronger than being a failure at who I was at that very moment. Despite all the stupidity, it did feel right, and I have never been more convinced to change the plan than in that particular moment.

. . .

It is about understanding who you want to be, where you want to go and that taking as much time as you need to figure it out is okay. The hardest part was to accept it and truly feel from within that it is a natural part of adulthood.  It is alright to not follow the plan, to change the plan along the way, to not even know know the plan.

The challenge is to accept the fact that our plans are changeable and that for other people it just plays out well. But the second you start comparing yourself to others is the moment when you lose your ground and faith in your own authentic journey. Comparison is the killer of hope and confidence.

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin

Just because it is taking time, does not mean it is not happening.

I felt “behind”. It took me much longer to finish a different masters program, to acquire my first working experiences, to land my first paid job and all this in a new country I call home today – Denmark. It took time to find my passion for what I want to do and even though I got closer, well, I still live in a country where drastic career adjustments are part of the professional journey for most internationals.

What I am trying to say, is that no matter how long it has taken me to earn the label “settled”, considering the many challenges ahead of me, it still feels right.

It feels right because throughout the last decade I have been learning, growing, loving, crying – I have been living.

. . .

To learn to let go of high expectations and take one step at a time. I treasure that knowledge so much. The mind which is freed from fear of what the future brings, allows us to focus on the process in the present moment. This does not mean to withdraw our focus from long-term goals and visions.

Instead, taking one step at a time and using that time to learn and grow, regardless of how far that goal is. And in the meantime, doors will open to many other options in case you change your mind or you will not reach that particular goal. So whatever the outcome, you will always end up wiser, more skilled, and more confident to take your next step.